Tuesday, April 2, 2013

My Other Woman

I have a confession to make. I am in love with another woman. Eversince I laid my eyes on her, I was hooked. In fact, I was in and out of this affair since 1998. And even though my wife doesn't approve of the relationship entirely, she tolerates it. My wife even lets me buy things for my other woman.
My other one is not the "Bilmoko" type. She does not talk at all. I buy items to make her beautiful. I love her second only to my family.
Whoa, don't get me wrong, before you hate me, I am talking about my bicycle. Let me tell you my story:
I got hooked in cycling when I was a scrawny 10 year old kid. My favorite past time during summer is cycling. I would borrow my grandpa's single speeder bike and hie off with my friends in the fields. I would imagine myself as small as a fly hovering whenever I ride. In the fantasy world that I was in, I could travel faster than an ant could. And that made me feel good. When I was 13, I asked for my own bike, but we could not afford one. Having 3 other siblings going to school made us strapped for cash. I was drooling with envy when my other friends have their own BMX bikes and I always ended up loaning a beater bike. Imagine my surprise when my father said to me "son, let's go to the bike shop, I got 500 pesos to spend on your bike". I was elated, we went to the local bike shop called Estorio's. But the budget constraints did not give me the best bike. Even though parts are off-color and mismatched, I felt like a king. I had my own BMX bike. I was so proud that day, thanking my father for the gift.
"Thanks for the bike dad!" I said, "where did you get the money?"
"Oh you wouldnt want to know" he said.
I learned later from my mother that my father was laid off from work and that he gave part of his severance pay. That was in 1983, and it couldnt have come at the worst time.
My BMX bike became my best companion. I would go everywhere with it. Rain or shine, mud or dirt. Year after year. Constant usage took its toll on my BMX. I could not buy any spare parts to replace whatever breaks. Four years after, my bike simply gave ghost and refused to run. The cranks froze, the chain broke. It seemed the end of the line. Going to college made me forget about building a bicycle again. I had other priorities. Finishing school and getting a job took front seat. But cycling is still my first love, and I just couldn't forget.
Years passed, I graduated college, took a job and lived my life.
Then in 1998, I was living in Laguna when I got hold of an issue of a bike magazine. The idea of buying a bicycle hit me.
I went to Joven's a local bike shop in Marikina and bought a 4000 peso steel bicycle.
The love affair returned. I took my bicycle to work, cycled everyday, been to places around Laguna.
My relationship with cycling had its ups and downs, just like in a real relationship would.
The lowest point in my life happened in February 2, 2002. I was riding my bicycle down the slopes of what was now popularly known as The Wall, when I hit a rock, slid, and fell off my bike. I broke my right wrist, dislocated my right ankle, and suffered numerous bruises. I was riding solo that morning, if it weren't for the other cyclists and hikers, I would not been rescued properly. Later that day, I was brought to the National Orthopedic hospital for treatment. To make matters worse, I lost my job because the manufacturing plant I was working at, closed shop.

I was out of the workforce, with an external fixator attached to my right arm, things are getting dark. Recovery was slow and painful, both physically and psychologically. I wasnt able to stand up for 5 days. If I put my right foot down to stand up, the intense pain would make me collapse to the floor. Use of crutches was out of the question, how could I use one if my right arm is useless. For the first time in my life I hated my bike. I had it stored in my parent's house, never wanting to lay my eyes on it. It took me 10 days to be able to stand up and limp. Two weeks after my accident, I overcame my fear and hiked up to where I had my accident. Those daily walks for the next 4 months of my recovery, made me realize it was not the bicycle's fault, but the rider.

My love affair with my bicycle continued on through out the years. I have been to places and paths where a car simply would stop dead in its tracks. I have taken it to work, rode it in trails, went to Tagaytay numerous times. I have never regretted falling in love with this sport. It has become a symbol in my fight against air pollution. It has become my lifestyle.

posted from Bloggeroid

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